For those who felt like anything they enjoyed, from desserts to binge-watching Netflix, turned out to be bad for their health, there was always one hope. The long-held belief that a moderate amount of red wine was actually good for you felt like an inviting oasis in a desert of unhealthy habits.
The Good and Bad of Red Wine
Before we get into how much red wine is good for you, it helps to look at the health benefits, and potential health threats, credited to drinking moderate amounts of red wine.
Red Wine Benefits
Most of the benefits of drinking red wine are due to its high levels of antioxidants, including resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidins. Generally speaking, the following are accepted beneficial effects of drinking red wine.
- Improves Heart Health - Antioxidants promote a healthy heart by reducing heart disease and heart attacks.
- Lowers the Risk of Cancer - Considering cancer results from the oxidation of cells, antioxidants help to counteract that effect.
- Maintains Good HDL Cholesterol - Another way that red wine is ‘heart healthy’ is by helping to retain good HDL cholesterol in the blood, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Lowers Blood Pressure - Lower blood pressure means less risk of blood vessel damage and blood clotting.
Negative Effects of Red Wine
The main downside of red wine is that it’s an alcoholic beverage.
- Weight Gain - Alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine, and mixed drinks, are generally high in calories. Coupled with the fact that alcohol consumption can lower your willpower and you are faced with a double-whammy from red wine that can promote weight gain and the appearance of cellulite.
- Liver Issues - More than 2 or 3 glasses of red wine per day is linked to a higher risk of liver disease.
- Increased Risk of Other Health Issues - Moderate to heavy consumption of alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of health issues like diabetes and depression.
How Much Red Wine Should You Drink?
The answer depends on the individual. Some people can metabolize alcohol better than others. If you don't drink alcohol now, you probably shouldn’t start.
- Stick to Dietary Guidelines - Generally accepted consumption guidelines for alcoholic beverages (one ounce of spirits, eight ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer) are one to one and a half drinks per day for women, and one to two per day for men.
- Give Yourself a Break - Even with the daily guidelines, there is evidence that you can reduce some of the negative effects by having one or two alcohol-free days per week.
- Don’t ‘Save Up’ - You can eliminate the benefits of red wine, and increase the risks, by binge drinking.
There are other ways to get the same benefits that red wine may deliver, including a healthier diet and better fitness. If you have noticed some negative effects of alcohol consumption, like more pronounced cellulite, slimming shapewear, including anti-cellulite shorts, can help.
If you liked this post, check out our last article on your emotional reactions to cellulite.